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Title: What does FRB light-curve variability tell us about the emission mechanism?
ABSTRACT A few fast radio bursts’ (FRBs) light curves have exhibited large intrinsic modulations of their flux on extremely short ($t_{\rm r}\sim 10\, \mu$s) time-scales, compared to pulse durations (tFRB ∼ 1 ms). Light-curve variability time-scales, the small ratio of rise time of the flux to pulse duration, and the spectro-temporal correlations in the data constrain the compactness of the source and the mechanism responsible for the powerful radio emission. The constraints are strongest when radiation is produced far (≳1010 cm) from the compact object. We describe different physical set-ups that can account for the observed tr/tFRB ≪ 1 despite having large emission radii. The result is either a significant reduction in the radio production efficiency or distinct light-curve features that could be searched for in observed data. For the same class of models, we also show that due to high-latitude emission, if a flux f1(ν1) is observed at t1 then at a lower frequency ν2 < ν1 the flux should be at least (ν2/ν1)2f1 at a slightly later time (t2 = t1ν1/ν2) independent of the duration and spectrum of the emission in the comoving frame. These features can be tested, once light-curve modulations due to scintillation are accounted for. We provide the time-scales more » and coherence bandwidths of the latter for a range of possibilities regarding the physical screens and the scintillation regime. Finally, if future highly resolved FRB light curves are shown to have intrinsic variability extending down to ${\sim}\mu$s time-scales, this will provide strong evidence in favour of magnetospheric models. « less
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
651 to 664
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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